Friday, December 12, 2008

A Couple Of Interesting Moves

Update: Bill Ladson over at is reporting that Willie Harris received a 2-Year, $3 Million Extension

When Our Washington Nationals went late into the afternoon not announcing anything official concerning their six players that needed to be tendered contracts by midnight tonight--you had to figure something was up.

Sure enough--Tim Redding, he of all the Colorado Trade Rumors during the just completed Winter Meetings, now gone.

Sayonara. Good Bye.

Our Now Former Number 17 Non-Tendered. Redding not offered a contract for 2009 to play in Washington.

Although, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Scott Olsen and Shawn Hill were all tendered contracts and are arbitration eligible.

So was Willie Harris, but Our Number 1's offer was more than just a procedural move.

Our Washington Nationals surprised, probably just about everybody, by re-signing Ultra Utility Player Willie Harris to a two year contract extension. No details on the contract numbers. (Update: $3 Million)

Redding being released is a very interesting move because--if you are just giving up on a serviceable, though not great, starting pitcher, Washington must feel far more comfortable with someone already under contract. Or, they have their sights distinctly set on someone else to fill that role. Our Manager Manny Acta mentioned last night on The WFED Winter Meetings Program that he's hoping for two more starters gained over the winter months. This move has to be a set-up for something better, they hope, will come.

As far as Our Number 1 is concerned--it's a good deal. Harris was not only exciting and versatile, but he hustled every single time he stepped out on the baseball diamond. Willie is A Fan's Player that everyone can appreciate. Welcome Back!!

By The Way: The African Queen and I are going to miss "The Human Rain Delay"--also released earlier this week. Jesus Colome was pretty terrific during his first half-season wearing a Washington Uniform in 2007. But after his Buttocks Surgery, he was never quite the same. He had transformed himself from just a hard thrower to decent pitcher. I remember, vividly, Colome striking out Chipper Jones in a game crucial situation early that season. The Atlanta Slugger had never seen Jesus throw such wicked stuff. As Colome walked off the mound, heading to The Nationals Dugout at RFK Stadium--Jones just stood there--staring at Our Number 43--who was at that time--a legitimate All-Star consideration. Of course, NO BODY pitched so slowly between pitches like Colome. I swear I could get up from my seat, head to the restroom and return while Jesus was still pitching to the same hitter. He was downright frustrating to watch at times. Talented, no doubt--Great Arm--but he never could find his form again after returning from The DL in 2007.

Here is Official Press Release from The Team:


The Washington Nationals today announced they did not tender a 2009 contract to right-handed pitcher Tim Redding. The Nationals did offer 2009 contracts to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, outfielder Josh Willingham, left-handed pitcher Scott Olsen and right-handed pitcher Shawn Hill. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcements.

Zimmerman, Willingham, Olsen and Hill are the only four Nationals that remain arbitration eligible.


The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with outfielder Willie Harris to a two-year contract. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

The versatile and durable Harris enjoyed a career year in first season with the Nationals, when set career highs with 13 home runs, 43 RBI and a .417 slugging percentage.

Harris, 30, not only led Washington in most offensive categories in last season’s season half, he played five defensive positions (left field, center field, second base, shortstop, third base) for Manny Acta. He joined Cristian Guzman as the only two position players to maintain a roster spot last season by avoiding a stint on the Disabled List. His 140 games played led all Nationals.

Harris’ 13 home runs ranked third among Nationals and nearly doubled his career total entering the 2008 season. Meanwhile, his 50 walks tied Elijah Dukes for the team lead and were just one shy of his career high. He is a career .248 hitter in eight big league seasons with Washington, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (AL) and Baltimore.


Anonymous said...

I don't get why they would re sign Willie though. I mean, Willie was a really great guy and he always hussled (it's sad we have to thank players for that). However, the Nationals outfield is already stacked, and Willie has not played second base consistently for over two years.

The Tim Redding move makes some sense; he's past his prime ('07), and the Nationals have pretty good depth. I'm not about to predict the 2009 rotation, but my personal picks would be Lannan, Olsen, Balester, Martis, and Hill. If Shawn is hurting, then I'd turn to Marcos or Tyler Clippard, depending on how they do in Syracuse. Hopefully, Jordan Zimmerman will be ready by July.

I just don't get why they wouldn't re sign Redding and then trade him away for some minor leaguers. For me, it is like Jimbo just non-tendered a couple prospects. It doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and did you know you are in a photo in the Espn zone photo gallery on the Nationals front page?

Anonymous said...

Not tendering Redding is a dumb move.

Anonymous said...

The Nats should go after non-tendered Daniel Cabrera. Cabrera has a great arm but bad mechanics. With St. Claire's pitching coach talents, there's a decent chance that Cabrera couild turn his career around. He's only 27.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Phil: When I read this morning The Orioles had non-tendered Cabrera, that was my first thought as well. St.Claire would be perfect for this talented, but lost pitcher.